Brave Owner Goes Off Road in His $285,000 McLaren 720S With Predictable Results
Boldly going where no McLaren has gone before...for good reason.
We're fierce advocates for putting supercars where they don't belong—Lambos in the snow, or Bugattis in the mud—but this new video of a driver attempting to pilot his shiny McLaren 720S down a forest trail shows that there are still some obstacles a $285,000 speed machine can't handle. Namely, gigantic ruts.
The clip popped up over the weekend, showing the Dutch-registered McLaren slowly inching down a gravel track that's been bisected by a washout. It's cloudy and wet, which only adds to the challenge. It looks like he's doomed to fail; the rear-wheel-drive 720S doesn't even have a stated ground clearance, but suffice it to say it's very little.
Then there's the issue of tap dancing on the throttle to get just the right boost from that 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, which is underrated at 710 horsepower, and modulating those carbon ceramic brakes, which aren't designed for off-road duty either. But somehow, with the encouragement of the cameraman, the driver manages to traverse the small ditch and even hang a wheel the process.
Two things probably worked in his favor: The extreme rigidity of McLaren's carbon fiber Monocage II that underpins its new Super Series cars, and the Proactive Chassis Control II adaptive suspension system, which uses all sorts of wizardry to keep the car level. Our Lawrence Ulrich wrote that it "seems to spread a coating of olive oil over crusty, country Italian pavement" when he tested it in the Roman countryside last year.
Obviously, the video's "better than a Range Rover" title is nonsense, but it's still an impressive show. And at least this driver is braver than the one who abandoned his McLaren 650S in the middle of a Pennsylvania intersection during a snowstorm earlier this month.
Ultimately, though, all the technological tricks in the world can't save this off-road 720S. The cameraman walks back to reveal that the trail descends into a banked curve with a deep rut running along the bottom side, which stops the supercar in its tracks on the first attempt. It's hard to understand how exactly they got it out of there once the camera stopped rolling. In fact, some say it's still up there on the mountain.